Are Your Friends Causing You to Stagnate?

The Fast Company weblog has a couple of good posts about innovation and entrepreneurship. They are ‘Want To Innovate? Dump Your Friends‘ and ‘Want To Innovate? Dump Your Friends‘. The titles sound a bit more harsh than the actual articles are though. They simply raise the point that exposing yourself to new people, and thus new ideas, is critical to entrepreneurial success. Here’s the bottom line advice from a Stanford Business School assistant professor:

  • Cut the cord to the familiar faces around the water cooler.
  • Mix it up.
  • Take a class with strangers, seek out ideas from people you
    don’t ordinarily talk to, do anything to get out and mingle more with
    folks from other professions.
  • Broaden your social horizons.

I think I’ve been lucky in that I have a very diverse group of friends, many of whom are entrepreneurs. In fact two in particular gave me the encouragement to make me bail out of corporate America and go trade stocks for a living. And part of the reason I’ve been lax in posting here the last few days is due to another friend introducing me to a business venture. But I’m taking heed of the above advice & will look to expand my social circle even more. I hope you all will do the same.


  1. New faces are always nice and new challenges can be beneficial, but with due respect to the Stanford professor, I think it’s more important to expose yourself to new ideas than to new people, especially if the latter is presumed to be a proxy for the former.


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